Holiday Weight Loss Survival Guide: Food

December 12, 2016

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blog_holidayseries3If there is one thing we might all agree on about modern American society, it’s that there is no shortage of food temptation. On any given day you’d be hard pressed to not see advertisements for fast food, vending machines stocked with junk, and promotional discounts on bulk snack purchases from your local super grocery chain.

 

And that’s just January through late November…

During the prime winter holiday season, lasting from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the temptations seem to multiply exponentially. Even worse, the season is traditionally marked by a “permission to indulge.” Studies estimate that during this period, most Americans gain an average five pounds.

The good news is there are ways to avoid becoming part of the statistics. In this week’s edition of the Holiday Weight Loss Survival Guide series, we have some tips for resisting food temptations:

Pack a healthy snack. Keeping a high-fiber or high-protein snack in your bag can help you reduce hunger cravings between meals. So whether gift shopping, working, or headed to a party, keep your body nourished with a healthy snack to help prevent overeating, especially later in the day.

Be mindful of your meals. Sometimes during the holiday season you find yourself in a situation where there are few healthy food options. If you must eat what is available, such as at a dinner party of buffet, you can control your calorie intake through slow eating. In other words, be mindful of what you are putting on your plate and how quickly you eat. Research has shown that slower eating actually reduces the chances of overeating.

Use a smaller plate. Like with slower eating, smaller portions help with calorie control. Opt for a smaller plate at family and holiday gatherings. According to a study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, participants ate less food when using smaller plates. If available, stuff your smaller plate with healthy foods that are filling – like high-fiber vegetables – to prevent overindulging in higher calorie temptations.

Limit alcohol. Be careful of your drink selections at cocktail parties. The fruity alcoholic beverages that you may love for the taste are usually loaded with sugar and calories. Drinking too much alcohol may also increase your appetite. Studies show that people who drink more are less likely to eat filling- foods like fruits and more likely to consume extra calories from alcoholic beverages and foods high in bad fats and added sugars. For your health and safety, try to lift your own natural spirits and drink alcohol in moderation.

None of these tips is intended to diminish your cheer. We just know that managing food temptations can be challenging, especially during the holidays. Just remember you can rely on us to help you make it through to a bright new year.

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